UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and its benefits and services businesses, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are donating $1 million to support relief efforts for New York and New Jersey communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The donation will largely support state government-led relief efforts in both states, including the New Jersey Relief Fund established by Gov. Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat Christie, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s relief efforts in New York.
“We have thousands of employees and millions of customers affected across the region, and by working with leadership in both states we hope to contribute to the rebuilding of communities and people’s lives in a meaningful way,” said Rich Collins, Northeast Region CEO for UnitedHealthcare.
As a national health and well-being company focused on helping people live healthier lives, UnitedHealth Group has mobilized its resources in a number of different ways to provide assistance to people throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affected by the hurricane.
In addition, the company had previously launched an internal drive encouraging its 100,000 employees to donate to the Red Cross relief fund for Hurricane Sandy and has pledged to match all employee donations through the end of November. Further, in some of the hardest hit communities, registered nurses and licensed social workers from UnitedHealth Group’s various businesses have been volunteering their time at area shelters to support people’s health care needs.
In addition to these direct donations, UnitedHealth Group and its affiliates are continuing to support the broader community affected by Hurricane Sandy in a number of ways:
- Relief measures announced on Oct. 29 for health plan participants in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia affected by Hurricane Sandy continue to remain in effect until at least Nov. 11, 2012.
- Free Help Line: Optum, a leading health and behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line.
The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.